David Charlton

Photo of David Charlton
David Charlton
Associate Director and Instructor of Philosophy
(269) 330-7166
3021 Moore Hall, Mail Stop 5328
Mailing address: 
Department of Philosophy
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5328 USA
Teaching interests: 
  • Biomedical ethics
  • Religious perspectives on medicine and death

Dr. David Charlton is an instructor in the Department of Philosophy at Western Michigan University.

Charlton works chiefly in the field of applied ethics, with biomedical ethics as one of his primary interests. He has recently been interested in the topic of physicians’ roles in war, end-of-life decision-making and the equitable distribution of medical resources. He is also interested in differences in religious and cultural perspectives on medicine, healing, and death, especially comparisons on the individualism of societies like ours with the collectivism found in many other cultures. For instance, while many Americans consider medical decisions—including end-of-life care—to be highly personal in nature, other cultures place greater emphasis on the collective decision-making of the family, even when it conflicts with the wishes of the individual.

Charlton has assisted with the biomedical ethics course within the philosophy department at WMU. He tries to incorporate biomedical ethics case studies into his introductory ethics courses because he finds that even those students with little background in philosophy or ethics have opinions on these topics, which makes them very useful for opening discussions.

Charlton's home page